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The Book of the Thousand Nights and a Night, Volume 3 by Richard F. Burton

Part 5 out of 8

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no place wherein to lodge.' And he answered helplessly, 'As thou
wilt.' Then the man said to us again, 'O ye poor folk, give ear
unto me and come with me to my place,' and I replied, 'Hearkening
and obedience;' whereupon he pulled off a part of his own clothes
and covered us therewith and made his excuses to us and spoke
kindly to us. Then we arose and accompanied him to his house and
he knocked at the door, whereupon a little slave-boy came out and
opened to us. The host entered and we followed him;[FN#214] when
he called for a bundle of clothes and muslins for turbands, and
gave us each a suit and a piece; so we dressed and turbanded
ourselves and sat us down. Presently, in came a damsel with a
tray of food and set it before us, saying, 'Eat.' We ate some
small matter and she took away the tray: after which we abode
with our host till nightfall, when Ali bin Bakkar sighed and said
to me, 'Know, O my brother, that I am a dying man past hope of
life and I would charge thee with a charge: it is that, when thou
seest me dead, thou go to my parent[FN#215] and tell her of my
decease and bid her come hither that she may be here to receive
the visits of condolence and be present at the washing of my
corpse, and do thou exhort her to bear my loss with patience.'
Then he fell down in a fainting fit and, when he recovered he
heard a damsel singing afar off and making verses as she sang.
Thereupon he addressed himself to give ear to her and hearken to
her voice; and now he was insensible, absent from the world, and
now he came to himself; and anon he wept for grief and mourning
at the love which had befallen him. Presently, he heard the
damsel who was singing repeat these couplets,

'Parting ran up to part from lover-twain *
Free converse, perfect concord, friendship fain:
The Nights with shifting drifted us apart, *
Would heaven I wot if we shall meet again:
How bitter after meeting 'tis to part, *
May lovers ne'er endure so bitter pain!
Death-grip, death-choke, lasts for an hour and ends, *
But parting-tortures aye in heart remain:
Could we but trace where Parting's house is placed, *
We would make Parting eke of parting taste!'

When Ali son of Bakkar heard the damsel's song, he sobbed one sob
and his soul quitted his body. As soon as I saw that he was dead"
(continued the jeweller), "I committed his corpse to the care of
the house-master and said to him 'Know thou, that I am going to
Baghdad, to tell his mother and kinsfolk, that they may come
hither and conduct his burial.' So I betook myself to Baghdad
and, going to my house, changed my clothes; after which I
repaired to Ali bin Bakkar's lodging. Now when his servants saw
me, they came to me and questioned me of him, and I bade them ask
permission for me to go in to his mother. She gave me leave; so I
entered and saluting her, said, 'Verily Allah ordereth the lives
of all creatures by His commandment and when He decreeth aught,
there is no escaping its fulfilment; nor can any soul depart but
by leave of Allah, according to the Writ which affirmeth the
appointed term.'[FN#216] She guessed by these words that her son
was dead and wept with sore weeping, then she said to me, 'Allah
upon thee! tell me, is my son dead?' I could not answer her for
tears and excess of grief, and when she saw me thus, she was
choked with weeping and fell to the ground in a fit. As soon as
she came to herself she said to me, 'Tell me how it was with my
son.' I replied, 'May Allah abundantly compensate thee for his
loss!' and I told her all that had befallen him from beginning to
end. She then asked, 'Did he give thee any charge?'; and I
answered, 'Yes,' and told her what he had said, adding, 'Hasten
to perform his funeral.' When she heard these words, she swooned
away again; and, when she recovered, she addressed herself to do
as I charged her. Then I returned to my house; and as I went
along musing sadly upon the fair gifts of his youth, behold, a
woman caught hold of my hand;"--And Shahrazad perceived the dawn
of day and ceased to say her permitted say.

When it was the One Hundred and Sixty-ninth Night,

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that the
jeweller thus continued:--"A woman caught hold of my hand; and I
looked at her and lo! it was the slave-girl who used to come from
Shams al-Nahar, and she seemed broken by grief. When we knew each
other we both wept and ceased not weeping till we reached my
house, and I said to her, 'Knowest thou the news of the youth,
Ali bin Bakkar?' She replied, 'No, by Allah!'; so I told her the
manner of his death and all that had passed, whilst we both wept;
after which quoth I to her, 'How is it with thy mistress?' Quoth
she, 'The Commander of the Faithful would not hear a single word
against her; but, for the great love he bore her, saw all her
actions in a favourable light, and said to her, 'O Shams
al-Nahar, thou art dear to me and I will bear with thee and bring
the noses of thy foes to the grindstone. Then he bade them
furnish her an apartment decorated with gold and a handsome
sleeping-chamber, and she abode with him in all ease of life and
high favour. Now it came to pass that one day, as he sat at wine
according to his custom, with his favourite concubines in
presence, he bade them be seated in their several ranks and made
Shams al-Nahar sit by his side. But her patience had failed and
her disorder had redoubled upon her. Then he bade one of the
damsels sing: so she took a lute and tuning it struck the chords,
and began to sing these verses,

'One craved my love and I gave all he craved of me, *
And tears on cheek betray how 'twas I came to yield:
Tear-drops, meseemeth, are familiar with our case, *
Revealing what I hide, hiding what I revealed:
How can I hope in secret to conceal my love, *
Which stress of passion ever showeth unconcealed:
Death, since I lost my lover, is grown sweet to me; *
Would I knew what their joys when I shall quit the field!

Now when Shams al-Nahar heard these verses sung by the
slave-girl, she could not keep her seat; but fell down in a
fainting-fit whereupon the Caliph cast the cup from his hand and
drew her to him crying out; and the damsels also cried out, and
the Prince of True Believers turned her over and shook her, and
lo and behold! she was dead. The Caliph grieved over her death
with sore grief and bade break all the vessels and
dulcimers[FN#217] and other instruments of mirth and music which
were in the room; then carrying her body to his closet, he abode
with her the rest of the night. When the day broke, he laid her
out and commanded to wash her and shroud her and bury her. And he
mourned for her with sore mourning, and questioned not of her
case nor of what caused her condition. And I beg thee in Allah's
name' (continued the damsel) 'to let me know the day of the
coming of Ali bin Bakkar's funeral procession that I may be
present at his burial.' Quoth I, 'For myself, where thou wilt
thou canst find me; but thou, where art thou to be found, and who
can come at thee where thou art?' She replied, 'On the day of
Shams al-Nahar's death, the Commander of the Faithful freed all
her women, myself among the rest;[FN#218] and I am one of those
now abiding at the tomb in such a place.' So I rose and
accompanied her to the burial-ground and piously visited Shams
al-Nahar's tomb; after which I went my way and ceased not to
await the coming of Ali bin Bakkar's funeral. When it arrived,
the people of Baghdad went forth to meet it and I went forth with
them: and I saw the damsel among the women and she the loudest of
them in lamentation, crying out and wailing with a voice that
rent the vitals and made the heart ache. Never was seen in
Baghdad a finer funeral than his; and we ceased not to follow in
crowds till we reached the cemetery and buried him to the mercy
of Almighty Allah; nor from that time to this have I ceased to
visit the tombs of Ali son of Bakkar and of Shams al-Nahar. This,
then, is their story, and Allah Almighty have mercy upon
them!"[FN#219] And yet is not their tale (continued Shahrazad)
more wonderful than that of King Shahriman. The King asked her
"And what was his tale?"--And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day
and ceased saying her permitted say.

When it was the One Hundred and Seventieth Night,

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, as regards the


That there was in times of yore and in ages long gone before a
King called Shahrimán,[FN#220] who was lord of many troops and
guards, and officers, and who reigned over certain islands, known
as the Khálidán Islands,[FN#221] on the borders of the land of
the Persians. But he was stricken in years and his bones were
wasted, without having been blessed with a son, albeit he had
four wives, daughters of Kings, and threescore concubines, with
each of whom he was wont to lie one night in turn.[FN#222] This
preyed upon his mind and disquieted him, so that he complained
thereof to one of his Wazirs, saying, "Verily I fear lest my
kingdom be lost when I die, for that I have no son to succeed
me." The Minister answered, "O King, peradventure Allah shall yet
bring something to pass; so rely upon the Almighty and be instant
in prayer. It is also my counsel that thou spread a banquet and
invite to it the poor and needy, and let them eat of thy food;
and supplicate the Lord to vouchsafe thee a son; for perchance
there may be among thy guests a righteous soul whose prayers find
acceptance; and thereby thou shalt win thy wish." So the King
rose, made the lesser ablution, and prayed a two-bow
prayer,[FN#223] then he cried upon Allah with pure intention;
after which he called his chief wife to bed and lay with her
forthright. By grace of God she conceived and, when her months
were accomplished, she bore a male child, like the moon on the
night of fulness. The King named him Kamar al-Zamán,[FN#224] and
rejoiced in him with extreme joy and bade the city be dressed out
in his honour; so they decorated the streets seven days, whilst
the drums beat and the messengers bore the glad tidings abroad.
Then wet and dry nurses were provided for the boy and he was
reared in splendour and delight, until he reached the age of
fifteen. He grew up of surpassing beauty and seemlihead and
symmetry, and his father loved him so dear that he could not
brook to be parted from him day or night. One day he complained
to a certain of his Ministers anent the excess of his love for
his only child, saying, "O thou the Wazir, of a truth I fear for
my son, Kamar al-Zaman, the shifts and accidents which befal man
and fain would I marry him in my life-time." Answered the Wazir,
"O King, know thou that marriage is one of the most honourable of
moral actions, and thou wouldst indeed do well and right to marry
thy son in thy lifetime, ere thou make him Sultan." On this quoth
the King, "Hither with my son Kamar al-Zaman;" so he came and
bowed his head to the ground in modesty before his sire. "O Kamar
al Zaman," said King Shahriman, "of a truth I desire to marry
thee and rejoice in thee during my lifetime." Replied he, "O my
father, know that I have no lust to marry nor cloth my soul
incline to women; for that concerning their craft and perfidy I
have read many books and heard much talk, even as saith the poet,

'Now, an of women ask ye, I reply:--*
In their affairs I'm versed a doctor rare!
When man's head grizzles and his money dwindles, *
In their affections he hath naught for share.'

And another said:--

'Rebel against women and so shalt thou serve Allah the more; *
The youth who gives women the rein must forfeit all hope to
They'll baulk him when seeking the strange device, Excelsior, *
Tho' waste he a thousand of years in the study of science
and lore.' "

And when he had ended his verses he continued, "O my father,
wedlock is a thing whereto I will never consent; no, not though I
drink the cup of death." When Sultan Shahriman heard these words
from his son, light became darkness in his sight and he grieved
thereat with great grief.--And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of
day and ceased to say her permitted say.

When it was the One Hundred and Seventy-first Night,

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when King
Shahriman heard these words from his son, the light became
darkness in his sight and he grieved over his son's lack of
obedience to his directions in the matter of marriage; yet, for
the great love he bore him, he was unwilling to repeat his wishes
and was not wroth with him, but caressed him and spake him fair
and showed him all manner of kindness such as tendeth to induce
affection. All this, and Kamar al-Zaman increased daily in beauty
and loveliness and amorous grace; and the King bore with him for
a whole year till he became perfect in eloquence and elegant wit.
All men were ravished with his charms; and every breeze that blew
bore the tidings of his gracious favour; his fair sight was a
seduction to the loving and a garden of delight to the longing,
for he was honey-sweet of speech and the sheen of his face shamed
the full moon; he was a model of symmetry and blandishment and
engaging ways; his shape was as the willow-wand or the rattan-
cane and his cheeks might take the place of rose or red anemone.
He was, in fine the pink of perfection, even as the poet hath
said of him,

"He came and cried they, 'Now be Allah blest! *
Praise Him that clad that soul in so fair vest!'
He's King of Beauty where the beauteous be; *
All are his Ryots,[FN#225] all obey his hest:
His lip-dew's sweeter than the virgin honey; *
His teeth are pearls in double row close press:
All charms are congregate in him alone, *
And deals his loveliness to man unrest.
Beauty wrote on those cheeks for worlds to see *
'I testify there is none good but He.'"[FN#226]

When the year came to an end, the King called his son to him and
said, "O my son, wilt thou not hearken to me?" Whereupon Kamar
al-Zaman fell down for respect and shame before his sire and
replied, "O my father, how should I not hearken to thee, seeing
that Allah commandeth me to obey thee and not gain-say thee?"
Rejoined King Shahriman, "O my son, know that I desire to marry
thee and rejoice in thee whilst yet I live, and make thee King
over my realm, before my death." When the Prince heard his sire
pronounce these words he bowed his head awhile, then raised it
and said, "O my father, this is a thing which I will never do;
no, not though I drink the cup of death! I know of a surety that
the Almighty hath made obedience to thee a duty in religion; but,
Allah upon thee! press me not in this matter of marriage, nor
fancy that I will ever marry my life long; for that I have read
the books both of the ancients and the moderns, and have come to
know all the mischiefs and miseries which have befallen them
through women and their endless artifices. And how excellent is
the saying of the poet,

'He whom the randy motts entrap *
Shall never see deliverance!
Though build he forts a thousand-fold, *
Whose mighty strength lead-plates enhance,[FN#227]
Their force shall be of no avail; *
These fortresses have not a chance!
Women aye deal in treachery *
To far and near o'er earth's expanse
With fingers dipt in Henna-blood *
And locks in braids that mad the glance;
And eyelids painted o'er with Kohl *
They gar us drink of dire mischance.'

And how excellently saith another,

'Women, for all the chastity they claim, *
Are offal cast by kites where'er they list:
This night their talk and secret charms are shine, *
That night another joyeth calf and wrist:
Like inn, whence after night thou far'st at dawn, *
And lodges other wight thou hast not wist.'"[FN#228]

Now when King Shahriman heard these his son's words and learnt
the import of his verses and poetical quotations, he made no
answer, of his excessive love for him, but redoubled in
graciousness and kindness to him. He at once broke up the
audience and, as soon as the seance was over, he summoned his
Minister and taking him apart, said to him, "O thou the Wazir!
tell me how I shall deal with my son in the matter of marriage."-
-And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased saying her
permitted stay.

When it was the One Hundred and Seventy-second Night,

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that the King
summoned his Minister; and, taking him apart, said to him, "O
thou the Wazir, tell me what I shall do with my son in the matter
of marriage. Of a truth I took counsel with thee thereon and thou
didst counsel me to marry him, before making him King. I have
spoken with him of wedlock time after time and he still gainsaid
me; so do thou, O Wazir, forthright advise me what to do."
Answered the Minister, "O King, wait another year and, if after
that thou be minded to speak to him on the matter of marriage,
speak not to him privily, but address him on a day of state, when
all the Emirs and Wazirs are present with the whole of the army
standing before thee. And when all are in crowd then send for thy
son, Kamar al-Zaman, and summon him; and, when he cometh, broach
to him the matter of marriage before the Wazirs and Grandees and
Officers of state and Captains; for he will surely be bashful and
daunted by their presence and will not dare to oppose thy will."
Now when King Shahriman heard his Wazir's words, he rejoiced with
exceeding joy, seeing success in the project, and bestowed on him
a splendid robe of honour. Then he took patience with his son
another year, whilst, with every day that passed over him, Kamar
al-Zaman increased in beauty and loveliness, and elegance and
perfect grace, till he was nigh twenty years old. Indeed Allah
had clad him in the cloak of comeliness and had crowned him with
the crown of completion: his eye-glance was more bewitching than
Hárút and Marút[FN#229] and the play of his luring looks more
misleading than Tághút;[FN#230] and his cheeks shone like the
dawn rosy-red and his eyelashes stormed the keen-edged blade: the
whiteness of his brow resembled the moon shining bright, and the
blackness of his locks was as the murky night; and his waist was
more slender than the gossamer[FN#231] and his back parts than
two sand heaps bulkier, making a Babel of the heart with their
softness; but his waist complained of the weight of his hips and
loins; and his charms ravished all mankind, even as one of the
poets saith in these couplets,

"By his eyelash tendril curled, by his slender waist I swear,
By the dart his witchery feathers, fatal hurtling through the
By the just roundness of his shape, by his glances bright and
By the swart limping of his locks, and his fair forehead shining
By his eyebrows which deny that she who looks on them should
Which now commanding, now forbidding, o'er me high dominion keep;
By the roses of his cheek, his face as fresh as myrtle wreath
His tulip lips, and those pure pearls that hold the places of his
By his noble form, which rises featly turned in even swell
To where upon his jutting chest two young pomegranates seem to
By his supple moving hips, his taper waist, the silky skin,
By all he robbed Perfection of, and holds enchained his form
By his tongue of steadfastness, his nature true, and excellent,
By the greatness of his rank, his noble birth, and high descent,
Musk from my love her savour steals, who musk exhales from every
And all the airs ambergris breathes are but the Zephyr's blow
o'er him.
The sun, methinks, the broad bright sun, as low before my love
should quail
As would my love himself transcend the paltry paring of his

So King Shahriman, having accepted the counsel of his Wazir,
waited for another year and a great festival,--And Shahrazad
perceived the dawn of day and ceased to say her permitted say.

When it was the One Hundred and Seventy-third Night,

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that Shahriman
having accepted the counsel of his Wazir, waited for another year
and a great festival, a day of state when the audience hall was
filled with his Emirs and Wazirs and Grandees of his reign and
Officers of State and Captains of might and main. Thereupon he
sent for his son Kamar al-Zaman who came, and kissing the ground
before him three times, stood in presence of his sire with his
hands behind his back the right grasping the left.[FN#233] Then
said the King to him, "Know O my son, that I have not sent for
thee on this occasion and summoned thee to appear before this
assembly and all these officers of estate here awaiting our
orders save and except that I may lay a commandment on thee,
wherein do thou not disobey me; and my commandment is that thou
marry, for I am minded to wed thee to a King's daughter and
rejoice in thee ere I die." When the Prince heard this much from
his royal sire, he bowed his head groundwards awhile, then
raising it towards his father and being moved thereto at that
time by youthful folly and boyish ignorance, replied, "But for
myself I will never marry; no, not though I drink the cup of
death! As for thee, thou art great in age and small of wit: hast
thou not, twice ere this day and before this occasion, questioned
me of the matter of marriage and I refused my consent? Indeed
thou dotest and are not fit to govern a flock of sheep!" So
saying Kamar al-Zaman unclasped his hands from behind his back
and tucked up his sleeves above his elbows before his father,
being in a fit of fury; moreover, he added many words to his
sire, knowing not what he said in the trouble of his spirits. The
King was confounded and ashamed, for that this befel in the
presence of his grandees and soldier-officers assembled on a high
festival and a state occasion; but presently the majesty of
Kingship took him, and he cried out at his son and made him
tremble. Then he called to the guards standing before him and
said, "Seize him!' So they came forward and laid hands on him
and, binding him, brought him before his sire, who bade them
pinion his elbows behind his back and in this guise make him
stand before the presence. And the Prince bowed down his head
for fear and apprehension, and his brow and face were beaded and
spangled with sweat; and shame and confusion troubled him sorely.
Thereupon his father abused him and reviled him and cried, "Woe
to thee, thou son of adultery and nursling of
abomination![FN#234] How durst thou answer me on this wise
before my captains and soldiers? But hitherto none hath chastised
thee,"--And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased saying
her permitted say.

When it was the One Hundred and Seventy-fourth Night,

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that King
Shahriman cried out to his son Kamar al-Zaman, "How durst thou
answer me on this wise before my captains and soldiers? But
hitherto none hath chastised thee. Knowest thou not that this
deed thou hast done were a disgrace to him had it been done by
the meanest of my subjects?" And the King commanded his Mamelukes
to loose his elbow bonds and imprison him in one of the bastions
of the citadel. So they took the Prince and thrust him into an
old tower, wherein there was a dilapidated saloon and in its
middle a ruined well, after having first swept it and cleansed
its floor-flags and set therein a couch on which they laid a
mattress, a leathern rug and a cushion; and then they brought a
great lanthorn and a wax candle, for that place was dark, even by
day. And lastly the Mamelukes led Kamar al-Zaman thither, and
stationed an eunuch at the door. And when all this was done, the
Prince threw himself on the couch, sad-spirited, and heavy-
hearted; blaming himself and repenting of his injurious conduct
to his father, whenas repentance availed him naught, and saying,
"Allah curse marriage and marriageable and married women, the
traitresses all! Would I had hearkened to my father and accepted
a wife! Had I so done it had been better for me than this jail."
This is how it fared with him; but as regards King Shahri man, he
remained seated on his throne all through the day until sundown;
then he took the Minister apart and said to him "Know thou, O
Wazir, that thou and thou only west the cause of all this that
hath come to pass between me and my son by the advice thou west
pleased to devise; and so what dost thou counsel me to do now?"
Answered he, "O King, leave thy son in limbo for the space of
fifteen days: then summon him to thy presence and bid him wed;
and assuredly he shall not gainsay thee again."--And Shahrazad
perceived the dawn of day and ceased saying her permitted say.

When it was the One Hundred and Seventy-fifth Night,

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that the Wazir,
said to King Shahriman, "Leave thy son in limbo for the space of
fifteen days; then summon him to thy presence and bid him wed;
and assuredly he shall not gainsay thee again." The King accepted
the Wazir's opinion and lay down to sleep that night troubled at
heart concerning his son; for he loved him with dearest love
because he had no other child but this; and it was his wont every
night not to sleep, save after placing his arm under his son's
neck. So he passed that night in trouble and unease on the Prince
's account, tossing from side to side, as he were laid on coals
of Artemisia-wood[FN#235]: for he was overcome with doubts and
fears and sleep visited him not all that livelong night; but his
eyes ran over with tears and he began repeating, ;

"While slanderers slumber, longsome is my night; *
Suffice thee a heart so sad in parting-plight;
I say, while night in care slow moments by, *
'What! no return for thee, fair morning light?'"

And the saying of another,

"When saw I Pleiad-stars his glance escape *
And Pole star draught of sleep upon him pour;
And the Bier-daughters[FN#236] wend in mourning dight, *
I knew that morning was for him no more!"

Such was the case with King Shahriman; but as regards Kamar al-
Zaman, when the night came upon him the eunuch set the lanthorn
before him and lighting the wax-candle, placed it in the
candlestick; then brought him somewhat of food. The Prince ate a
little and continually reproached himself for his unseemly
treatment of his father, saying to himself, "O my soul, knowest
thou not that a son of Adam is the hostage of his tongue, and
that a man's tongue is what casteth him into deadly perils?" Then
his eyes ran over with tears and he bewailed that which he had
done, from anguished vitals and aching heart, repenting him with
exceeding repentance of the wrong wherewith he had wronged his
father and repeating,

"Fair youth shall die by stumbling of the tongue: *
Stumble of foot works not man's life such wrong:
The slip of lip shall oft smite off the head, *
While slip of foot shall never harm one long."

Now when he had made an end of eating, he asked for the
wherewithal to wash his hands and when the Mameluke had washed
them clean of the remnants of food, he arose and made the
Wuzu-ablution and prayed the prayers of sundown and nightfall,
conjoining them in one; after which he sat down.--And Shahrazad
perceived the dawn of day and ceased to say her permitted say.

When it was the Hundred and Seventy-sixth Night,

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when the
Prince Kamar al-Zaman had prayed (conjoining them in one) the
prayers of sundown and nightfall, he sat down on the well and
began reciting the Koran, and he repeated "The Cow," the "House
of Imrán," and "Y. S.;" "The Compassionate," "Blessed be the
King," "Unity" and "The two Talismans''[FN#237]; and he ended
with blessing and supplication and with saying, "I seek refuge
with Allah from Satan the stoned."[FN#238] Then he lay down upon
his couch which was covered with a mattress of satin from al-
Ma'adin town, the same on both sides and stuffed with the raw
silk of Irak; and under his head was a pillow filled with
ostrich-down And when ready for sleep, he doffed his outer
clothes and drew off his bag-trousers and lay down in a shirt of
delicate stuff smooth as wax; and he donned a head-kerchief of
azure Marázi[FN#239] cloth; and at such time and on this guise
Kamar al-Zaman was like the full-orbed moon, when it riseth on
its fourteenth night. Then, drawing over his head a coverlet of
silk, he fell asleep with the lanthorn burning at his feet and
the wax-candle over his head, and he ceased not sleeping through
the first third of the night, not knowing what lurked for him in
the womb of the Future, and what the Omniscient had decreed for
him. Now, as Fate and Fortune would have it, both tower and
saloon were old and had been many years deserted; and there was
therein a Roman well inhabited by a Jinniyah of the seed of
Iblis[FN#240] the Accursed, by name Maymúnah, daughter of Al-
Dimiryát, a renowned King of the Jánn.--And Shahrazad perceived
the dawn of day and ceased saying her permitted say.

When it was the One Hundred and Seventy-seventh Night,

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that the name of
the Jinniyah in question was Maymunah, daughter of Al-Dimiryat; a
renowned King of the Jann. And as Kamar al-Zaman continued
sleeping till the first third of the night, Maymunah came up out
of the Roman well and made for the firmament, thinking to listen
by stealth to the converse of the angels; but when she reached
the mouth of the well, she saw a light shining in the tower,
contrary to custom; and having dwelt there many years without
seeing the like, she said to herself, "Never have I witnessed
aught like this"; and, marvelling much at the matter, determined
that there must be some cause therefor. So she made for the light
and found the eunuch sleeping within the door; and inside she saw
a couch spread, whereon was a human form with the wax-candle
burning at his head and the lanthorn at his feet, and she
wondered to see the light and stole towards it little by little.
Then she folded her wings and stood by the bed and, drawing back
the coverlid, discovered Kamar al-Zaman's face. She was
motionless for a full hour in admiration and wonderment; for the
lustre of his visage outshone that of the candle; his face beamed
like a pearl with light; his eyelids were languorous like those
of the gazelle; the pupils of his eyes were intensely black and
brilliant[FN#241]; his cheeks were rosy red; his eye-brows were
arched like bows and his breath exhaled a scent of musk, even as
saith of him the poet,

"I kissed him: darker grew those pupils,[FN#242] which *
Seduce my soul, and cheeks flushed rosier hue;
O heart, if slanderers dare to deem there be *
His like in chasms, Say 'Bring him hither, you!' "

Now when Maymunah saw him, she pronounced the formula of
praise,[FN#243] and said, "Blessed be Allah, the best of
Creators!"; for she was of the true-believing Jinn; and she stood
awhile gazing on his face, exclaiming and envying the youth his
beauty and loveliness. And she said in herself, "By Allah! I will
do no hurt to him nor let any harm him; nay, from all of evil
will I ransom him, for this fair face deserveth not but that folk
should gaze upon it and for it praise the Lord. Yet how could his
family find it in their hearts to leave him in such desert place
where, if one of our Márids came upon him at this hour, he would
assuredly slay him." Then the Ifritah Maymunah bent over him and
kissed him between the eyes, and presently drew back the sheet
over his face which she covered up; and after this she spread her
wings and soaring into the air, flew upwards. And after rising
high from the circle of the saloon she ceased not winging her way
through air and ascending skywards till she drew near the heaven
of this world, the lowest of the heavens. And behold, she heard
the noisy flapping of wings cleaving the welkin and, directing
herself by the sound, she found when she drew near it that the
noise came from an Ifrit called Dahnash. So she swooped down on
him like a sparrow-hawk and, when he was aware of her and knew
her to be Maymunah, the daughter of the King of the Jinn, he
feared her and his side-muscles quivered; and he implored her
forbearance, saying, I conjure thee by the Most Great and August
Name and by the most noble talisman graven upon the seal-ring of
Solomon, entreat me kindly and harm me not!" When she heard these
words her heart inclined to him and she said, "Verily, thou
conjurest me, O accursed, with a mighty conjuration.
Nevertheless, I will not let thee go, till thou tell me whence
thou comest at this hour." He replied, "O Princess, Know that I
come from the uttermost end of China-land and from among the
Islands, and I will tell thee of a wonderful thing I have seen
this night. If thou kind my words true, let me wend my way and
write me a patent under thy hand and with thy sign manual that I
am thy freedman, so none of the Jinn-hosts, whether of the upper
who fly or of the lower who walk the earth or of those who dive
beneath the waters, do me let or hindrance." Rejoined Maymunah,
"And what is it thou hast seen this night, O liar, O accursed!
Tell me without leasing and think not to escape from my hand with
falses, for I swear to thee by the letters graven upon the bezel
of the seal-ring of Solomon David son (on both of whom be
peace!), except thy speech be true, I will pluck out thy feathers
with mine own hand and strip off thy skin and break thy bones!"
Quoth the Ifrit Dahnash son of Shamhúrish[FN#244] the Flyer, "I
accept, O my lady, these conditions."--And Shahrazad perceived
the dawn of day and ceased to say her permitted say.

When it was the One Hundred and Seventy-eight Night,

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that Dahnash
spoke thus to Maymunah, "I accept, O my lady, these conditions."
Then he resumed, "Know, O my mistress, that I come to-night from
the Islands of the Inland Sea in the parts of China, which are
the realms of King Ghayúr, lord of the Islands and the Seas and
the Seven Palaces. There I saw a daughter of his, than whom Allah
hath made none fairer in her time: I cannot picture her to thee,
for my tongue would fail to describe her with her due of praise;
but I will name to thee a somewhat of her charms by way of
approach. Now her hair is like the nights of disunion and
separation and her face like the days of union and delectation;
and right well hath the poet said when picturing her,

'She dispread the locks from her head one night, *
Showing four fold nights into one night run
And she turned her visage towards the moon, *
And two moons showed at moment one.'

She hath a nose like the edge of the burnished blade and cheeks
like purple wine or anemones blood-red: her lips as coral and
carnelian shine and the water of her mouth is sweeter than old
wine; its taste would quench Hell's fiery pain. Her tongue is
moved by wit of high degree and ready repartee: her breast is a
seduction to all that see it (glory be to Him who fashioned it
and finished it!); and joined thereto are two upper arms smooth
and rounded; even as saith of her the poet Al-Walahán,[FN#245]

'She hath wrists which, did her bangles not contain, *
Would run from out her sleeves in silvern rain.'

She hath breasts like two globes of ivory, from whose brightness
the moons borrow light, and a stomach with little waves as it
were a figured cloth of the finest Egyptian linen made by the
Copts, with creases like folded scrolls, ending in a waist
slender past all power of imagination; based upon back parts like
a hillock of blown sand, that force her to sit when she would
fief stand, and awaken her, when she fain would sleep, even as
saith of her and describeth her the poet,

'She hath those hips conjoined by thread of waist, *
Hips that o'er me and her too tyrannise
My thoughts they daze whene'er I think of them, *
And weigh her down whene'er she would uprise.'[FN#246]

And those back parts are upborne by thighs smooth and round and
by a calf like a column of pearl, and all this reposeth upon two
feet, narrow, slender and pointed like spear-blades,[FN#247] the
handiwork of the Protector and Requiter, I wonder how, of their
littleness, they can sustain what is above them. But I cut short
my praises of her charms fearing lest I be tedious."--And
Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased saying her
permitted say.

When it was the One Hundred and Seventy-ninth Night,

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that the Ifrit
Dahnash bin Shamhurish said to the Ifritah Maymunah, "Of a truth
I cut short my praises fearing lest I be tedious." Now when
Maymunah heard the description of that Princess and her beauty
and loveliness, she stood silent in astonishment; whereupon
Dahnash resumed, "The father of this fair maiden is a mighty
King, a fierce knight, immersed night and day in fray and fight;
for whom death hath no fright and the escape of his foe no dread,
for that he is a tyrant masterful and a conqueror irresistible,
lord of troops and armies and continents and islands, and cities
and villages, and his name is King Ghayur, Lord of the Islands
and of the Seas and of the Seven Palaces. Now he loveth his
daughter, the young maiden whom I have described to thee, with
dearest love and, for affection of her, he hath heaped together
the treasures of all the kings and built her therewith seven
palaces, each of a different fashion; the first of crystal, the
second of marble, the third of China steel, the fourth of
precious stones and gems of price, the fifth of porcelain and
many-hued onyxes and ring bezels, the sixth of silver and the
seventh of gold. And he hath filled the seven palaces with all
sorts of sumptuous furniture, rich silken carpets and hangings
and vessels of gold and silver and all manner of gear that kings
require; and hath bidden his daughter to abide in each by turns
for a certain season of the year; and her name is the Princess
Budur.[FN#248] Now when her beauty became known and her name and
fame were bruited abroad in the neighbouring countries, all the
kings sent to her father to demand her of him in marriage, and he
consulted her on the matter, but she disliked the very word
wedlock with a manner of abhorrence and said, O my father, I have
no mind to marry; no, not at all; for I am a sovereign Lady and a
Queen suzerain ruling over men, and I have no desire for a man
who shall rule over me. And the more suits she refused, the more
her suitors' eagerness increased and all the Royalties of the
Inner Islands of China sent presents and rarities to her father
with letters asking her in marriage. So he pressed her again and
again with advice on the matter of espousals; but she ever
opposed to him refusals, till at last she turned upon him angrily
and cried, 'O my father, if thou name matrimony to me once more,
I will go into my chamber and take a sword and, fixing its hilt
in the ground, will set its point to my waist; then will I press
upon it, till it come forth from my back, and so slay myself.'
Now when the King heard these her words, the light became
darkness in his sight and his heart burned for her as with a
flame of fire, because he feared lest she should kill herself;
and he was filled with perplexity concerning her affair and the
kings her suitors. So he said to her 'If thou be determined not
to marry and there be no help for it abstain from going and
coming in and out.' Then he placed her in a house and shut her up
in a chamber, appointing ten old women as duennas to guard her,
and forbade her to go forth to the Seven Palaces; moreover, he
made it appear that he was incensed against her, and sent letters
to all the kings, giving them to know that she had been stricken
with madness by the Jinns; and it is now a year since she hath
thus been secluded." Then continued the Ifrit Dahnash, addressing
the Ifritah Maymunah, "And I, O my lady go to her every night and
take my fill of feeding my sight on her face and I kiss her
between the eyes: yet, of my love to her, I do her no hurt
neither mount her, for that her youth is fair and her grace
surpassing: every one who seeth her jealouseth himself for her. I
conjure thee, therefore, O my lady, to go back with me and look
on her beauty and loveliness and stature and perfection of
proportion; and after, if thou wilt, chastise me or enslave me;
and win to thy will, for it is shine to bid and to forbid." So
saying, the Ifrit Dahnash bowed his head towards the earth and
drooped his wings downward; but Maymunah laughed at his words and
spat in his face and answered, "What is this girl of whom thou
pratest but a potsherd wherewith to wipe after making
water?[FN#249] Faugh! Faugh! By Allah, O accursed, I thought
thou hadst some wondrous tale to tell me or some marvellous news
to give me. How would it be if thou were to sight my beloved?
Verily, this night I have seen a young man, whom if thou saw
though but in a dream, thou wouldst be palsied with admiration
and spittle would flow from thy mouth." Asked the Ifrit, "And who
and what is this youth?"; and she answered, "Know, O Dahnash,
that there hath befallen the young man the like of what thou
tellest me befel thy mistress; for his father pressed him again
and again to marry, but he refused, till at length his sire waxed
wroth at being opposed and imprisoned him in the tower where I
dwell: and I came up to-night and saw him." Said Dahnash, "O my
lady, shew me this youth, that I may see if he be indeed
handsomer than my mistress, the Princess Budur, or not; for I
cannot believe that the like of her liveth in this our age."
Rejoined Maymunah, "Thou liest, O accursed, O most ill-omened of
Marids and vilest of Satans![FN#250] Sure am I that the like of
my beloved is not in this world."--And Shahrazad perceived the
dawn of day and ceased to say her permitted say.

When It was the One Hundred and Eightieth Night,

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that the Ifritah
Maymunah spake thus to the Ifrit Dahnash, "Sure am I that the
like of my beloved is not in this world! Art thou mad to fellow
thy beloved with my beloved?" He said, "Allah upon thee, O my
lady, go back with me and look upon my mistress, and after I will
with thee and look upon thy beloved." She answered, "It must
needs be so, O accursed, for thou art a knavish devil; but I will
not go with thee nor shalt thou come with me, save upon condition
of a wager which is this. If the lover thou lovest and of whom
thou boastest so bravely, prove handsomer than mine whom I
mentioned and whom I love and of whom I boast, the bet shall be
shine against me; but if my beloved prove the handsomer the bet
shall be mine against thee." Quoth Dahnash the Ifrit, "O my lady,
I accept this thy wager and am satisfied thereat; so come with me
to the Islands." Quoth Maymunah; "No! for the abode of my beloved
is nearer than the abode of shine: here it is under us; so come
down with me to see my beloved and after we will go look upon thy
mistress." "I hear and I obey," said Dahnash. So they descended
to earth and alighted in the saloon which the tower contained;
then Maymunah stationed Dahnash beside the bed and, putting out
her hand, drew back the silken coverlet from Kamar al-Zaman's
face, when it glittered and glistened and shimmered and shone
like the rising sun. She gazed at him for a moment, then turning
sharply round upon Dahnash said, "Look, O accursed, and be not
the basest of madmen; I am a maid, yet my heart he hath waylaid."
So Dahnash looked at the Prince and long continued gazing
steadfastly on him then, shaking his head, said to Maymunah, "By
Allah, O my lady, thou art excusable; but there is yet another
thing to be considered, and this is, that the estate female
differeth from the male. By Allah's might, this thy beloved is
the likest of all created things to my mistress in beauty and
loveliness and grace and perfection; and it is as though they
were both cast alike in the mould of seemlihead." Now when
Maymunah heard these words, the light became darkness in her
sight and she dealt him with her wing so fierce a buffet on the
head as well-nigh made an end of him. Then quoth she to him, "I
conjure thee, by the light of his glorious countenance, go at
once, O accursed, and bring hither thy mistress whom thou lovest
so fondly and foolishly, and return in haste that we may lay the
twain together and look on them both as they lie asleep side by
side; so shall it appear to us which be the goodlier and more
beautiful of the two. Except thou obey me this very moment, O
accursed, I will dart my sparks at thee with my fire and consume
thee; yea, in pieces I will rend thee and into the deserts cast
thee, that to stay at home and wayfarer an example thou be!"
Quoth Dahnash, "O my lady, I will do thy behests, for I know
forsure that my mistress is the fairer and the sweeter." So
saying the If rit flew away and Maymunah flew with him to guard
him. They were absent awhile and presently returned, bearing the
young lady, who was clad in a shift of fine Venetian silk, with a
double edging of gold and purfled with the most exquisite of
embroidery having these couplets worked upon the ends of the

"Three matters hinder her from visiting us, in fear *
Of hate-full, slandering envier and his hired spies:
The shining light of brow, the trinkets' tinkling voice, *
And scent of essences that tell whene'er she tries:
Gi'en that she hide her brow with edge of sleeve, and leave *
At home her trinketry, how shall her scent

And Dahnash and Maymunah stinted not bearing that young lady till
they had carried her into the saloon and had laid her beside the
youth Kamar al-Zaman.--And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day
and ceased saying her permitted say.

When it was the One Hundred and Eighty-first Night,

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that the Ifrit
Dahnash and the Ifritah Maymunah stinted not bearing Princess
Budur till they descended and laid her on the couch beside Kamar
al- Zaman. Then they uncovered both their faces, and they were
the likest of all folk, each to other, as they were twins or an
only brother and sister; and indeed they were a seduction to the
pious, even as saith of them the poet Al-Mubín,

"O heart! be not thy love confined to one, *
Lest thou by doting or disdain be undone:
Love all the fair, and thou shalt find with them *
If this be lost, to thee that shall be won."

And quoth another,

"Mine eyes beheld two lying on the ground; *
Both had I loved if on these eyne they lay!"

So Dahnash and Maymunah gazed on them awhile, and he said, "By
Allah, O my lady, it is good! My mistress is assuredly the
fairer." She replied, "Not so, my beloved is the fairer; woe to
thee, O Dahnash! Art blind of eye and heart that lean from fat
thou canst not depart? Wilt thou hide the truth? Dost thou not
see his beauty and loveliness and fine stature and symmetry? Out
on thee, hear what I purpose to say in praise of my beloved and,
if thou be a lover true to her thou dost love, do thou the like
for her thou Lovest." Then she kissed Kamar al-Zaman again and
again between the eyes and improvised this ode,

"How is this? Why should the blamer abuse thee in his pride?
What shall console my heart for thee, that art but slender bough?

A Nature Kohl'd[FN#252] eye thou hast that witcheth far and wide;
From pure platonic love[FN#253] of it deliverance none I trow!

Those glances, fell as plundering Turk, to heart such havoc deal
As never havocked scymitar made keenest at the curve.

On me thou layest load of love the heaviest while I feel
So feeble grown that under weight of chemisette I swerve.

My love for thee as wottest well is habit, and my lowe
Is nature; to all others false is all the love I tender:

Now were my heart but like to shine I never would say No;
Only my wasted form is like thy waist so gracious slender:

Out on him who in Beauty's robe for moon like charms hath fame,
And who is claimed by mouth of men as marvel of his tribe!

'Of man what manner may he be' (ask they who flyte and blame)
'For whom thy heart is so distressed?' I only cry 'Describe!'

Oh stone-entempered heart of him! learn of his yielding grace
And bending form to show me grace and yielding to consent.

Oh my Prince Beautiful, thou hast an Overseer in place[FN#254]
Who irketh me, and eke a Groom whose wrong cloth ne'er relent.

Indeed he lieth who hath said that all of loveliness
Was pent in Joseph: in thy charms there's many and many a Joe!

The Genii dread me when I stand and face to face address;
But meeting thee my fluttering heart its shame and terror show.

I take aversion semblance and I turn from thee in fright,
But more aversion I assume, more love from me dost claim;

That hair of jetty black! That brow e'er raying radiant light!
Those eyne wherein white jostles black![FN#255] That dearling
dainty frame!"

When Dahnash heard the poesy which Maymunah spake in praise of
her beloved, he joyed with exceeding joy and marvelled with
excessive wonderment.--And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day
and ceased to say her permitted say

When it was the One Hundred and Eighty-second Night,

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when the
Ifrit Dahnash heard the poesy which Maymunah spake in praise of
her beloved, he shook for exceeding joy and said, "Thou hast
celebrated thy beloved in song and thou hast indeed done well in
praise of him whom thou lovest! And there is no help for it but
that I also in my turn do my best to enfame my mistress, and
recite somewhat in her honour." Then the Ifrit went up to the
Lady Budur; and' kissing her between the eyes, looked at Maymunah
and at his beloved Princess and recited the following verses,
albeit he had no skill in poesy,

"Love for my fair they chide in angry way; *
Unjust for ignorance, yea unjustest they!
Ah lavish favours on the love mad, whom *
Taste of thy wrath and parting woe shall slay:
In sooth for love I'm wet with railing tears, *
That rail mine eyelids blood thou mightest say:
No marvel what I bear for love, 'tis marvel *
That any know my "me" while thou'rt away:
Unlawful were our union did I doubt *
Thy love, or heart incline to other May."

And eke these words:--

"I feed eyes on their stead by the valley's side, *
And I'm slain and my slaver[FN#256] aside hath tried:
Grief-wine have I drunken, and down my cheeks *
Dance tears to the song of the camel-guide:
For union-blessing I strive though sure, *
In Budur and Su'ad all my bliss shall bide:[FN#257]
Wot I not which of three gave me most to 'plain, *
So hear them numbered ere thou decide:
Those Sworders her eyne, that Lancer her fig- *
-ure, or ring-mail'd Locks which her forehead hide.
Quoth she (and I ask of her what so wights *
Or abide in towns or in desert ride[FN#258] )
To me, 'In thy heart I dwell, look there!' *
Quoth I, 'Where's my heart ah where? ah where?'"

When Maymunah heard these lines from the Ifrit, she said, "Thou
hast done well, O Dahnash! But say thou which of the two is the
handsomer?" And he answered, "My mistress Budur is handsomer than
thy beloved!" Cried Maymunah, "Thou liest, O accursed. Nay, my
beloved is more beautiful than shine!" But Dahnash persisted,
"Mine is the fairer." And they ceased not to wrangle and
challenge each other's words till Maymunah cried out at Dahnash
and would have laid violent hands on him, but he humbled himself
to her and, softening his speech, said, "Let not the truth be a
grief to thee, and cease we this talk, for all we say is to
testify in favour of our lovers; rather let each of us withdraw
the claim and seek we one who shall judge fairly between us which
of the two be fairer; and by his sentence we will abide." "I
agree to this," answered she and smote the earth with her foot,
whereupon there came out of it an Ifrit blind of an eye,
humpbacked and scurvy-skinned, with eye-orbits slit up and down
his face.[FN#259] On his head were seven horns and four locks of
hair fell to his heels; his hands were pitchfork-like and his
legs mast-like and he had nails as the claws of a lion, and feet
as the hoofs of the wild ass.[FN#260] When that If rit rose out
of the earth and sighted Maymunah, he kissed the ground before
her and, standing with his hands clasped behind him, said, "What
is thy will, O my mistress, O daughter of my King?"[FN#261] She
replied, "O Kashkash, I would have thee judge between me and this
accursed Dahnash." And she made known to him the matter, from
first to last, whereupon the Ifrit Kashkash looked at the face of
the youth and then at the face of the girl; and saw them lying
asleep, embraced, each with an arm under the other's neck, alike
in beauty and loveliness and equal in grace and goodliness. The
Marid gazed long upon them, marvelling at their seemlihead; and,
after carefully observing the twain, he turned to Maymunah and
Dahnash, and reseated these couplets.

"Go, visit her thou lovest, and regard not
The words detractors utter, envious churls
Can never favour love. Oh! sure the Merciful
Ne'er made a thing more fair to look upon,
Than two fond lovers in each others' arms,
Speaking their passion in a mute embrace.
When heart has turned to heart, the fools would part them
Strike idly on cold steel. So when thou'st found
One purely, wholly shine, accept her true heart,
And live for her alone. Oh! thou that blamest
The love-struck for their love, give o'er thy talk,
How canst thou minister to a mind diseased?"[FN#262]

Then he turned again to Maymunah and Dahnash and said to them,
"By Allah, if you will have the truth, I tell you fairly the
twain be equal in beauty, and loveliness and perfect grace and
goodliness, nor can I make any difference between them on account
of their being man and woman. But I have another thought which is
that we wake each of them in turn, without the knowledge of the
other, and whichever is the more enamoured shall be held inferior
in seemlihead and comeliness." Quoth Maymunah, "Right is this
recking," and quoth Dahnash, "I consent to this." Then Dahnash
changed himself to the form of a flea and bit Kamar al-Zaman,
whereupon he started from sleep in a fright.--And Shahrazad
perceived the dawn of day and ceased to say her permitted say.

When it was the One Hundred and Eighty-third Night,

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that Dahnash
changed himself to the form of a flea and bit Kamar al-Zaman who
started from sleep in a fright and rubbed the bitten part, his
neck, and scratched it hard because of the smart. Then turning
sideways, he found lying by him something whose breath was
sweeter than musk and whose skin was softer than cream. Hereat
marvelled he with great marvel and he sat up and looked at what
lay beside him; when he saw it to be a young lady like an union
pearl, or a shining sun, or a dome seen from afar on a well built
wall; for she was five feet tall, with a shape like the letter
Alif[FN#263], bosomed high and rosy checked; even as saith of her
the poet,

"Four things which ne'er conjoin, unless it be *
To storm my vitals and to shed my blood:
Brow white as day and tresses black as night *
Cheeks rosy red and lips which smiles o'erflood."

And also quoth another,

"A Moon she rises, Willow wand she waves, *
Breathes Ambergris, and gazes, a Gazelle:
Meseems that sorrow woes my heart and wins *
And, when she wendeth hastes therein to dwell!"

And when Kamar al-Zaman saw the Lady Budur, daughter of King
Ghayur, and her beauty and comeliness, she was sleeping clad in a
shift of Venetian silk, without her petticoat-trousers, and wore
on her head a kerchief embroidered with gold and set with stones
of price: her ears were hung with twin earrings which shone like
constellations and round her neck was a collar of union pearls,
of size unique, past the competence of any King. When he saw
this, his reason was confounded and natural heat began to stir in
him; Allah awoke in him the desire of coition and he said to
himself, "Whatso Allah willeth, that shall be, and what He
willeth not shall never be!" So saying, he put out his hand and,
turning her over, loosed the collar of her chemise; then arose
before his sight her bosom, with its breasts like double globes
of ivory; whereat his inclination for her redoubled and he
desired her with exceeding hot desire, He would have awakened her
but she would not awake, for Dahnash had made her sleep heavy; so
he shook her and moved her, saying, "O my beloved, awake and look
on me; I am Kamar al-Zaman." But she awoke not, neither moved her
head; where-upon he considered her case for a long hour and said
to himself, "If I guess aright, this is the damsel to whom my
father would have married me and these three years past I have
refused her; but Inshallah!--God willing--as soon as it is dawn,
I will say to him, 'Marry me to her, that I may enjoy her.'"--And
Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased to say her
permitted say.

When it was the One Hundred and Eighty-fourth Night,

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that Kamar al-
Zaman said to himself, "By Allah, when I see dawn I will say to
my sire, 'Marry me to her that I may enjoy her'; nor will I let
half the day pass ere I possess her and take my fill of her
beauty and loveliness." Then he bent over Budur to buss her,
whereat the Jinniyah Maymunah trembled and was abashed and
Dahnash, the Ifrit, was like to fly for joy. But, as Kamar al-
Zaman was about to kiss her upon the mouth, he was ashamed before
Allah and turned away his head and averted his face, saying to
his heart, "Have patience." Then he took thought awhile and said,
"I will be patient; haply my father when he was wroth with me and
sent me to this jail, may have brought my young lady and made her
lie by my side to try me with her, and may have charged her not
to be readily awakened when I would arouse her, and may have said
to her, 'Whatever thing Kamar al-Zaman do to thee, make me ware
thereof'; or belike my sire standeth hidden in some stead whence
(being himself unseen) he can see all I do with this young lady;
and to morrow he will scold me and cry, 'How cometh it that thou
sayest, I have no mind to marry; and yet thou didst kiss and
embrace yonder damsel?' So I will withhold myself lest I be
ashamed before my sire; and the right and proper thing to do is
not to touch her at this present, nor even to look upon her,
except to take from her somewhat which shall serve as a token to
me and a memorial of her; that some sign endure between me and
her." Then Kamar al-Zaman raised the young lady's hand and took
from her little finger a seal-ring worth an immense amount of
money, for that its bezel was a precious jewel and around it were
graven these couplets,

"Count not that I your promises forgot, *
Despite the length of your delinquencies
Be generous, O my lord, to me inclining; *
Haply your mouth and cheeks these lips may kiss:
By Allah, ne'er will I relinquish you *
Albe you will transgress love's boundaries."

Then Kamar al-Zaman took the seal-ring from the little finger of
Queen Budur and set it on his own; then, turning his back to her,
went to sleep.[FN#264] When Maymunah the Jinniyah saw this, she
was glad and said to Dahnash and Kashkash, "Saw ye how my beloved
Kamar al-Zaman bore himself chastely towards this young lady?
Verily, this was of the perfection of his good gifts; for observe
you twain how he looked on her and noted her beauty and
loveliness, and yet embraced her not neither kissed her nor put
his hand to her, but turned his back and slept." Answered they,
"Even so!" Thereupon Maymunah changed herself into a flea and
entering into the raiment of Budur, the loved of Dahnash, crept
up her calf and came upon her thigh and, reaching a place some
four carats[FN#265] below her navel, there bit her. Thereupon she
opened her eyes and sitting up in bed, saw a youth lying beside
her and breathing heavily in his sleep, the loveliest of Almighty
Allah's creatures, with eyes that put to shame the fairest Houris
of Heaven; and a mouth like Solomon's seal, whose water was
sweeter to the taste and more efficacious than a theriack, and
lips the colour of coral-stone, and cheeks like the blood red
anemone, even as saith one, describing him in these couplets,

"My mind's withdrawn from Zaynab and Nawár[FN#266] *
By rosy cheeks that growth of myrtle bear;
I love a fawn, a tunic-vested boy, *
And leave the love of bracelet-wearing Fair:
My mate in hall and closet is unlike *
Her that I play with, as at home we pair.
Oh thou, who blam'st my flight from Hind and Zaynab, *
The cause is clear as dawn uplighting air!
Would'st have me fare[FN#267] a slave, the thrall of thrall, *
Cribbed, pent, confined behind the bar and wall?"

Now when Princess Budur saw him, she was seized by a transport of
passion and yearning and love-longing,--And Shahrazad per ceived
the dawn of day and ceased saying her permitted say.

When it was the One Hundred and Eighty-fifth Night,

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when
Princess Budur saw Kamar al-Zaman she was forthwith seized with a
transport of passion and yearning and love longing, and she said
to herself, "Alas, my shame! This is a strange youth and I know
him not. How cometh he to be lying by my side on one bed?" Then
she looked at him a second time and, noting his beauty and
loveliness, said, "By Allah, he is indeed a comely youth and my
heart[FN#268] is well-nigh torn in sunder with longing for him!
But alas, how am I shamed by him! By the Almighty, had I known it
was this youth who sought me in marriage of my father, I had not
rejected him, but had wived with him and enjoyed his loveliness!"
Then she gazed in his face and said, "O my lord and light of mine
eyes, awake from sleep and take thy pleasure in my beauty and
grace." And she moved him with her hand; but Maymunah the
Jinniyah let down sleep upon him as it were a curtain, and
pressed heavily on his head with her wings so that Kamar al-Zaman
awoke not. Then Princess Budur shook him with her hands and said,
"My life on thee, hearken to me; awake and up from thy sleep and
look on the narcissus and the tender down thereon, and enjoy the
sight of naked waist and navel; and touzle me and tumble me from
this moment till break of day! Allah upon thee, O my lord, sit up
and prop thee against the pillow and slumber not!" Still Kamar
al-Zaman made her no reply but breathed hard in his sleep.
Continued she, "Alas! Alas! thou art insolent in thy beauty and
comeliness and grace and loving looks! But if thou art handsome,
so am I handsome; what then is this thou dost? Have they taught
thee to flout me or hath my father, the wretched old
fellow,[FN#269] made thee swear not to speak to me to-night?" But
Kamar al-Zaman opened not his mouth neither awoke, whereat her
passion for him redoubled and Allah inflamed her heart with love
of him. She stole one glance of eyes that cost her a thousand
sighs: her heart fluttered, and her vitals throbbed and her hands
and feet quivered; and she said to Kamar al-Zaman "Talk to me, O
my lord! Speak to me, O my friend! Answer me, O my beloved, and
tell me thy name, for indeed thou hast ravished my wit!" And
during all this time he abode drowned in sleep and answered her
not a word, and Princess Budur sighed and said, "Alas! Alas! why
art thou so proud and self satisfied?" Then she shook him and
turning his hand over, saw her seal-ring on his little finger,
whereat she cried a loud cry, and followed it with a sigh of
passion and said, "Alack! Alack! By Allah, thou art my beloved
and thou lovest me! Yet thou seemest to turn thee away from me
out of coquetry, for all, O my darling, thou camest to me, whilst
I was asleep and knew not what thou didst with me, and tookest my
seal-ring; and yet I will not pull it off thy finger." So saying,
she opened the bosom of his shirt and bent over him and kissed
him and put forth her hand to him, seeking somewhat that she
might take as a token, but found nothing. Then she thrust her
hand into his breast and, because of the smoothness of his body,
it slipped down to his waist and thence to his navel and thence
to his yard, whereupon her heart ached and her vitals quivered
and lust was sore upon her, for that the desire of women is
fiercer than the desire of men,[FN#270] and she was ashamed of
her own shamelessness. Then she plucked his seal-ring from his
finger, and put it on her own instead of the ring he had taken,
and bussed his inner lips and hands, nor did she leave any part
of him unkissed; after which she took him to her breast and
embraced him and, laying one of her hands under his neck and the
other under his arm-pit, nestled close to him and fell asleep by
his side.--And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased to
say her permitted say.

When it was the One hundred and Eighty-sixth Night,

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when
Princess Budur fell asleep by the side of Kamar al-Zaman, after
doing that which she did, quoth Maymunah to Dahnash, Night thou,
O accursed, how proudly and coquettishly my beloved bore himself,
and how hotly and passionately thy mistress showed herself to my
dearling? There can be no doubt that my beloved is handsomer than
shine; nevertheless I pardon thee." Then she wrote him a document
of manumission and turned to Kashkash and said, "Go, help Dahnash
to take up his mistress and aid him to carry her back to her own
place, for the night waneth apace and there is but little left of
it." "I hear and I obey;" answered Kashkash. So the two Ifrits
went forward to Princess Budur and upraising her flew away with
her; then, bearing her back to her own place, they laid her on
her bed, whilst Maymunah abode alone with Kamar al-Zaman, gazing
upon him as he slept, till the night was all but spent, when she
went her way. As soon as morning morrowed, the Prince awoke from
sleep and turned right and left, but found not the maiden by him
and said in his mind, "What is this business? It is as if my
father would incline me to marriage with the damsel who was with
me and have now taken her away by stealth, to the intent that my
desire for wedlock may redouble." Then he called out to the
eunuch who slept at the door, saying, "Woe to thee, O damned one,
arise at once!" So the eunuch rose, bemused with sleep, and
brought him basin and ewer, whereupon Kamar al-Zaman entered the
water closet and did his need;[FN#271] then, coming out made the
Wuzu-ablution and prayed the dawn-prayer, after which he sat
telling on his beads the ninety-and-nine names of Almighty Allah.
Then he looked up and, seeing the eunuch standing in service upon
him, said, "Out on thee, O Sawáb! Who was it came hither and took
away the young lady from my side and I still sleeping?" Asked the
eunuch, 'O my lord, what manner of young lady?" "The young lady
who lay with me last night," replied Kamar al-Zaman. The eunuch
was startled at his words and said to him, "By Allah, there hath
been with thee neither young lady nor other! How should young
lady have come in to thee, when I was sleeping in the doorway and
the door was locked? By Allah, O my lord, neither male nor female
hath come in to thee!" Exclaimed the Prince, "Thou liest, O
pestilent slave!: is it of thy competence also to hoodwink me and
refuse to tell me what is become of the young lady who lay with
me last night and decline to inform me who took her away?"
Replied the eunuch (and he was affrighted at him), "By Allah, O
my lord, I have seen neither young lady nor young lord!" His
words only angered Kamar al-Zaman the more and he said to him, "O
accursed one, my father hath indeed taught thee deceit! Come
hither." So the eunuch came up to him, and the Prince took him by
the collar and dashed him to the ground; whereupon he let fly a
loud fart[FN#272] and Kamar al-Zaman, kneeling upon him, kicked
him and throttled him till he fainted away. Then he dragged him
forth and tied him to the well-rope, and let him down like a
bucket into the well and plunged him into the water, then drew
him up and lowered him down again. Now it was hard winter
weather, and Kamar al-Zaman ceased not to plunge the eunuch into
the water and pull him up again and douse him and haul him whilst
he screamed and called for help; and the Prince kept on saying
"By Allah, O damned one, I will not draw thee up out of this well
till thou tell me and fully acquaint me with the story of the
young lady and who it was took her away, whilst I slept."--And
Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased saying her
permitted say.

When it was the One and Eighty-seventh Night,

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that Kamar al-
Zaman said to the eunuch, "By Allah! I will not draw thee up out
of this well until thou tell me the story of the young lady and
who it was took her away whilst I slept." Answered the eunuch,
after he had seen death staring him in the face; "O my lord, let
me go and I will relate to thee the truth and the whole tale." So
Kamar al-Zaman pulled him up out of the well, all but dead for
suffering, what with cold and the pain of dipping and dousing,
drubbing and dread of drowning. He shook like cane in hurricane,
his teeth were clenched as by cramp and his clothes were drenched
and his body befouled and torn by the rough sides of the well:
briefly he was in a sad pickle. Now when Kamar al-Zaman saw him
in this sorry plight, he was concerned for him; but, as soon as
the eunuch found himself on the floor, he said to him, "O my
lord, let me go and doff my clothes and wring them out and spread
them in the sun to dry, and don others; after which I will return
to thee forthwith and tell thee the truth of the matter."
Answered the Prince, "O rascal slave! hadst thou not seen death
face to face, never hadst thou confessed to fact nor told me a
word; but go now and do thy will, and then come back to me at
once and tell me the truth." Thereupon the eunuch went out,
hardly crediting his escape, and ceased not running, stumbling
and rising in his haste, till he came in to King Shahriman, whom
he found sitting at talk with his Wazir of Kamar al-Zaman's case.
The King was saying to the Minister, "I slept not last night, for
anxiety concerning my son, Kamar al-Zaman and indeed I fear lest
some harm befal him in that old tower. What good was there in
imprisoning him?" Answered the Wazir, "Have no care for him. By
Allah, no harm will befal him! None at all! Leave him in prison
for a month till his temper yield and his spirit be broken and he
return to his senses." As the two spoke behold, up rushed the
eunuch, in the aforesaid plight, making to the King who was
troubled at sight of him; and he cried "O our lord the Sultan!
Verily, thy son's wits are fled and he hath gone mad, he hath
dealt with me thus and thus, so that I am become as thou seest
me, and he kept saying, 'A young lady lay with me this night and
stole away secretly whilst I slept. Where is she?' And he
insisteth on my letting him know where she is and on my telling
him who took her away. But I have seen neither girl nor boy: the
door was locked all through the night, for I slept before it with
the key under my head, and I opened to him in the morning with my
own hand. When King Shahriman heard this, he cried out, saying,
"Alas, my son!;" and he was enraged with sore rage against the
Wazir, who had been the cause of all this case and said to him,
"Go up, bring me news of my son and see what hath befallen his
mind." So the Wazir rose and, stumbling over his long skirts, in
his fear of the King's wrath, hastened with the slave to the
tower. Now the sun had risen and when the Minister came in to
Kamar al-Zaman, he found him sitting on the couch reciting the
Koran; so he saluted him and seated himself by his side, and said
to him, "O my lord, this wretched eunuch brought us tidings which
troubled and alarmed us and which incensed the King." Asked Kamar
al-Zaman, "And what hath he told you of me to trouble my father?
In good sooth he hath troubled none but me." Answered the Wazir,
"He came to us in fulsome state and told us of thee a thing which
Heaven forfend; and the slave added a lie which it befitteth not
to repeat, Allah preserve thy youth and sound sense and tongue of
eloquence, and forbid to come from thee aught of offense!" Quoth
the Prince, "O Wazir, and what thing did this pestilent slave say
of me?" The Minister replied, "He told us that thy wits had taken
leave of thee and thou wouldst have it that a young lady lay with
thee last night, and thou west instant with him to tell thee
whither she went and thou diddest torture him to that end." But
when Kamar al-Zaman heard these words, he was enraged with sore
rage and he said to the Wazir, "'Tis manifest to me in very deed
that you people taught the eunuch to do as he did."--And
Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased to say her per
misted say.

When it was the One Hundred and Eighty-eighth Night,

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when Kamar
al-Zaman heard the words of the Wazir he was enraged with sore
rage and said to him, "'Tis manifest to me in very deed that you
people taught the eunuch to do as he did and forbade him to tell
me what became of the young lady who lay with me last night. But
thou, O Wazir, art cleverer than the eunuch, so do thou tell me
without stay or delay, whither went the young lady who slept on
my bosom last night; for it was you who sent her and bade her
steep in my embrace and we lay together till dawn; but, when I
awoke, I found her not. So where is she now?" Said the Wazir, "O
my lord Kamar al-Zaman, Allah's name encompass thee about! By the
Almighty, we sent none to thee last night, but thou layest alone,
with the door locked on thee and the eunuch sleeping behind it,
nor did there come to thee young lady or any other. Regain thy
reason, O my lord, and stablish thy senses and occupy not thy
mind with vanities." Rejoined Kamar al-Zaman who was incensed at
his words, "O Wazir, the young lady in question is my beloved,
the fair one with the black eyes and rosy cheeks, whom I held in
my arms all last night." So the Minister wondered at his words
and asked him, "Didst thou see this damsel last night with shine
own eyes on wake or in sleep?" Answered Kamar al-Zaman, "O ill-
omened old man, dost thou fancy I saw her with my ears? Indeed, I
saw her with my very eyes and awake, and I touched her with my
hand, and I watched by her full half the night, feeding my vision
on her beauty and loveliness and grace and tempting looks. But
you had schooled her and charged her to speak no word to me; so
she feigned sleep and I lay by her side till dawn, when I awoke
and found her gone." Rejoined the Wazir, "O my lord Kamar al-
Zaman, haply thou sawest this in thy sleep; it must have been a
delusion of dreams or a deception caused by eating various kinds
of food, or a suggestion of the accursed devils." Cried the
Prince, "O pestilent old man! wilt thou too make a mock of me and
tell me this was haply a delusion of dreams, when that eunuch
confessed to the young lady, saying, 'At once I will return to
thee and tell thee all about her?'" With these words, he sprang
up and rushed at the Wazir and gripped hold of his beard (which
was long[FN#273]) and, after gripping it, he twisted his hand in
it and haling him off the couch, threw him on the floor. It
seemed to the Minister as though his soul departed his body for
the violent plucking at his beard; and Kamar al-Zaman ceased not
kicking the Wazir and basting his breast and ribs and cuffing him
with open hand on the nape of his neck till he had well-nigh
beaten him to death. Then said the old man in his mind, "Just as
the eunuch-slave saved his life from this lunatic youth by
telling him a lie, thus it is even fitter that I do likewise;
else he will destroy me. So now for my lie to save myself, he
being mad beyond a doubt." Then he turned to Kamar al-Zaman and
said, "O my lord, pardon me; for indeed thy father charged me to
conceal from thee this affair of the young lady; but now I am
weak and weary and wounded with funding; for I am an old man and
lack strength and bottom to endure blows. Have, therefore, a
little patience with me and I will tell thee all and acquaint
thee with the story of the young woman." When the Prince heard
this, he left off drubbing him and said, "Wherefore couldst thou
not tell me the tale until after shame and blows? Rise now,
unlucky old man that thou art, and tell me her story." Quoth the
Wazir, "Say, dost thou ask of the young lady with the fair face
and perfect form?" Quoth Kamar al-Zaman, "Even so! Tell me, O
Wazir, who it was that led her to me and laid her by my side, and
who was it that took her away from me by night; and let me know
forthright whither she is gone, that I myself may go to her at
once. If my father did this deed to me that he might try me by
means of that beautiful girl, with a view to our marriage, I
consent to wed her and free myself of this trouble; for he did
all these dealings with me only because I refused wedlock. But
now I consent and I say again, I consent to matrimony: so tell
this to my father, O Wazir, and advise him to marry me to that
young lady; for I will have none other and my heart loveth none
save her alone. Now rise up at once and haste thee to my father
and counsel him to hurry on our wedding and bring me his answer
within this very hour." Rejoined the Wazir, "'Tis well!" and went
forth from him, hardly believing himself out of his hands. Then
he set off from the tower, walking and tripping up as he went,
for excess of fright and agitation, and he ceased not hurrying
till he came in to King Shahriman.--And Shahrazad perceived the
dawn of day and ceased saying her permitted say.

When it was the One Hundred and Eighty-nineth Night,

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that the Wazir,
fared forth from the tower, and ceased not running till he came
in to King Shahriman, who said to him as he sighted him, "O thou
Wazir, what man hath brought thee to grief and whose mischief
hath treated thee in way unlief; how happeneth it that I see thee
dumb foundered and coming to me thus astounded?" Replied the
Wazir, "O King! I bring thee good news." "And what is it?" quoth
Shahriman, and quoth the Wazir, "Know that thy son Kamar al-
Zaman's wits are clean gone and that he hath become stark mad."
Now when the King heard these words of the Minister, light became
darkness in his sight and he said, "O Wazir, make clear to me the
nature of his madness." Answered the Wazir, "O my lord, I hear
and I obey." Then he told him that such and such had passed and
acquainted him with all that his son had done; whereupon the King
said to him, "Hear, O Wazir, the good tidings which I give thee
in return for this thy fair news of my son's insanity; and it
shall be the cutting off of thy head and the forfeiture of my
favour, O most ill-omened of Wazirs and foulest of Emirs! for I
feel that thou hast caused my son's disorder by the wicked advice
and the sinister counsel thou hast given me first and last. By
Allah, if aught of mischief or madness have befallen my son I
will most assuredly nail thee upon the palace dome and make thee
drain the bitterest draught of death!'' Then he sprang up and,
taking the Wazir, with him, fared straight for the tower and
entered it. And when Kamar al-Zaman saw the two, he rose to his
father in haste from the couch whereon he sat and kissing his
hands drew back and hung down his head and stood before him with
his arms behind him, and thus remained for a full hour. Then he
raised his head towards his sire; the tears gushed from his eyes
and streamed down his cheeks and he began repeating,

"Forgive the sin 'neath which my limbs are trembling,
For the slave seeks for mercy from his master;
I've done a fault, which calls for free confession,
Where shall it call for mercy, and forgiveness?''[FN#274]

When the King heard this, he arose and embraced his son, and
kissing him between the eyes, made him sit by his side on the
couch; then he turned to the Wazir, and, looking on him with eyes
of wrath, said, "O dog of Wazirs, how didst thou say of my son
such and such things and make my heart quake for him?" Then he
turned to the Prince and said, "O my son, what is to-day called?"
He answered, "O my father, this day is the Sabbath, and to morrow
is First day: then come Second day, Third, Fourth, Fifth day and
lastly Friday."[FN#275] Exclaimed the King, "O my son, O Kamar
al-Zaman, praised be Allah for the preservation of thy reason!
What is the present month called in our Arabic?" "Zú'l Ka'adah,"
answered Kamar al-Zaman, "and it is followed by Zú'l hijjah; then
cometh Muharram, then Safar, then Rabí'a the First and Rabí'a the
Second, the two Jamádás, Rajab, Sha'aban, Ramazán and Shawwál."
At this the King rejoiced exceedingly and spat in the Wazir's
face, saying, "O wicked old man, how canst thou say that my son
is mad? And now none is mad but thou." Hereupon the Minister
shook his head and would have spoken, but bethought himself to
wait awhile and see what might next befal. Then the King said to
his child, "O my son, what words be these thou saddest to the
eunuch and the Wazir, declaring, 'I was sleeping with a fair
damsel this night?'[FN#276] What damsel is this of whom thou
speakest?" Then Kamar al-Zaman laughed at his father's words and
replied, "O my father, know that I can bear no more jesting; so
add me not another mock or even a single word on the matter, for
my temper hath waxed short by that you have done with me. And
know, O my father, with assured knowledge, that I consent to
marry, but on condition that thou give me to wife her who lay by
my side this night; for I am certain it was thou sentest her to
me and madest me in love with her and then despatchedst a message
to her before the dawn and tookest her away from beside me."
Rejoined the King, "The name of Allah encompass thee about, O my
son, and be thy wit preserved from witlessness!"--And Shahrazad
perceived the dawn of day and ceased to say her permitted say.

When it was the One Hundred and Ninetieth Night,

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that quoth King
Shahriman to his son Kamar al-Zaman, "The name of Allah encompass
thee about, O my son, and be thy wit preserved from witlessness!
What thing be this young lady whom thou fanciest I sent to thee
last night and then again that I sent to withdraw her from thee
before dawn? By the Lord, O my son, I know nothing of this
affair, and Allah upon thee, tell me if it be a delusion of
dreaming or a deception caused by indisposition. For verily thou
layest down to sleep last night with thy mind occupied anent
marriage and troubled with the talk of it (Allah damn marriage
and the hour when I spake of it and curse him who counselled
it!); and without doubt or diffidence I can say that being moved
in mind by the mention of wedlock thou dreamedst that a handsome
young lady embraced thee and didst fancy thou sawest her when
awake. But all this, O my son, is but an imbroglio of dreams."
Replied Kamar al-Zaman, "Leave this talk and swear to me by
Allah, the All creator, the Omniscient; the Humbler of the tyrant
Caesars and the Destroyer of the Chosroes, that thou knowest
naught of the young lady nor of her woning-place." Quoth the
King, "By the Might of Allah Almighty, the God of Moses and
Abraham, I know naught of all this and never even heard of it; it
is assuredly a delusion of dreams thou hast seen in sleep.' Then
the Prince replied to his sire, "I will give thee a self evident
proof that it happened to me when on wake."--And Shahrazad
perceived the dawn of day and ceased saying her permitted say.

When it was the One Hundred and Ninety-first Night,

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that Kamar al
Zamar said to his sire, "I will give thee a self-evident proof
that this happened to me when on wake. Now let me ask thee, did
it ever befal any man to dream that he was battling a sore battle
and after to awake from sleep and find in his hand a sword-blade
besmeared with blood? Answered the King, "No, by Allah, O my son,
this hath never been." Rejoined Kamar al-Zaman, "I will tell thee
what happened to me and it was this. Meseemed I awoke from sleep
in the middle of the past night and found a girl lying by my
side, whose form was like mine and whose favour was as mine. I
embraced her and turned her about with my hand and took her seal-
ring, which I put on my finger, and she pulled off my ring and
put it on hers. Then I went to sleep by her side, but refrained
from her for shame of thee, deeming that thou hadst sent her to
me, intending to tempt me with her and incline me to marriage,
and suspecting thee to be hidden somewhere whence thou couldst
see what I did with her. And I was ashamed even to kiss her on
the mouth for thy account, thinking over this temptation to
wedlock; and, when I awoke at point of day, I found no trace of
her, nor could I come at any news of her, and there befel me what
thou knowest of with the eunuch and with the Wazir. How then can
this case have been a dream and a delusion, when the ring is a
reality? Save for her ring on my finger I should indeed have
deemed it a dream; but here is the ring on my little finger: look
at it, O King, and see what is its worth." So saying he handed
the ring to his father, who examined it and turned it over, then
looked to his son and said, "Verily, there is in this ring some
mighty mystery and some strange secret. What befel thee last
night with the girl is indeed a hard nut to crack, and I know not
how intruded upon us this intruder. None is the cause of all this
posher save the Wazir; but, Allah upon thee, O my son, take
patience, so haply the Lord may turn to gladness this thy grief
and to thy sadness bring complete relief: as quoth one of the

'Haply shall Fortune draw her rein, and bring *
Fair chance, for she is changeful, jealous, vain:
Still I may woo my want and wishes win, *
And see on heels of care unfair, the fain.'

And now, O my son, I am certified at this hour that thou art not
mad; but thy case is a strange one which none can clear up for
thee save the Almighty." Cried the Prince, "By Allah, O my
father, deal kindly with me and seek out this young lady and
hasten her coming to me; else I shall die of woe and of my death
shall no one know." Then he betrayed the ardour of his passion;
and turned towards his father and repeated these two couplets,

"If your promise of personal call prove untrue, *
Deign in vision to grant me an interview:
Quoth they, 'How can phantom[FN#277] appear to the sight *
Of a youth, whose sight is fordone, perdue?'"

Then, after ending his poetry, Kamar al-Zaman again turned to his
father, with submission and despondency, and shedding tears in
flood, began repeating these lines.--And Shahrazad perceived the
dawn of day and ceased to say her permitted say.

When it was the One Hundred and Ninety-second Night,

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when Kamar
al-Zaman had repeated to his father these verses, he wept and
complained and groaned from a wounded heart; and added these

"Beware that eye glance which hath magic might; *
Wherever turn those orbs it bars our flight:
Nor be deceived by low sweet voice, that breeds *
A fever festering in the heart and sprite:
So soft that silky skin, were rose to touch it *
She'd cry and tear-drops rain for pain and fright:
Did Zephyr e'en in sleep pass o'er her land, *
Scented he'd choose to dwell in scented site:
Her necklets vie with tinkling of her belt; *
Her wrists strike either wristlet dumb with spite:
When would her bangles buss those rings in ear, *
Upon the lover's eyne high mysteries 'light:
I'm blamed for love of her, nor pardon claim; *
Eyes are not profiting which lack foresight:
Heaven strip thee, blamer mine! unjust art thou; *
Before this fawn must every eye low bow."[FN#278]

After which he said, "By Allah, O my father, I cannot endure to
be parted from her even for an hour." The King smote hand upon
hand and exclaimed, "There is no Majesty and there is no Might
save in Allah, the Glorious, the Great! No cunning contrivance
can profit us in this affair." Then he took his son by the hand
and carried him to the palace, where Kamar al-Zaman lay down on
the bed of languor and the King sat at his head, weeping and
mourning over him and leaving him not, night or day, till at last
the Wazir came in to him and said, "O King of the age and the
time, how long wilt thou remain shut up with thy son and hide
thyself from thy troops. Haply, the order of thy realm may be
deranged, by reason of shine absence from thy Grandees and
Officers of State. It behoveth the man of understanding, if he
have various wounds in his body, to apply him first to medicine
the most dangerous; so it is my counsel to thee that thou remove
thy son from this place to the pavilion which is in the palace
overlooking the sea; and shut thyself up with him there, setting
apart in every week two days, Thursday and Monday, for state
receptions and progresses and reviews. On these days let shine
Emirs and Wazirs and Chamberlains and Viceroys and high Officials
and Grandees of the realm and the rest of the levies and the
lieges have access to thee and submit their affairs to thee; and
do thou their needs and judge among them and give and take with
them and bid and forbid. And the rest of the week thou shalt pass
with thy son, Kamar al-Zaman, and cease not thus doing till Allah
shall vouchsafe relief to you twain. Think not, O King, that thou
art safe from the shifts of Time and the strokes of Change which
come like a traveller in the night; for the wise man is ever on
his guard and how well saith the poet,

'Thou deemedst well of Time when days went well, *
And fearedst not what ills might bring thee Fate:
The Nights so fair and restful cozened thee, *
For peaceful Nights bring woes of heavy weight.
Oh children of mankind whom Time befriends, *
Beware of Time's deceits or soon or late!'''[FN#279]

When the Sultan heard his Wazir's words he saw that they were
right and deemed his counsel wise, and it had effect upon him for
he feared lest the order of the state be deranged; so he rose at
once and bade transport his son from his sick room to the
pavilion in the palace overlooking the sea. Now this palace was
girt round by the waters and was approached by a causeway twenty
cubits wide. It had windows on all sides commanding an ocean-
view; its floor was paved with parti-coloured marbles and its
ceiling was painted in the richest pigments and figured with gold
and lapis-lazuli. They furnished it for Kamar al-Zaman with
splendid upholstery, embroidered rugs and carpets of the richest
silk; and they clothed the walls with choice brocades and hung
curtains bespangled with gems of price. In the midst they set him
a couch of juniper[FN#280]-wood inlaid with pearls and jewels,
and Kamar al-Zaman sat down thereon, but the excess of his
concern and passion for the young lady had wasted his charms and
emaciated his body; he could neither eat nor drink nor sleep; and
he was like a man who had been sick twenty years of sore
sickness. His father seated himself at his head, grieving for him
with the deepest grief, and every Monday and Thursday he gave his
Wazirs and Emirs and Chamberlains and Viceroys and Lords of the
realm and levies and the rest of his lieges leave to come up to
him in that pavilion. So they entered and did their several
service and duties and abode with him till the end of the day,
when they went their ways and the King returned to his son in the
pavilion whom he left not night nor day; and he ceased not doing
on this wise for many days and nights. Such was the case with
Kamar al-Zaman, son of King Shahriman; but as regards Princess
Budur, daughter of King Ghayur, Lord of the Isles and the Seven
Palaces, when the two Jinns bore her up and laid her on her bed,
she slept till daybreak, when she awoke and sitting upright
looked right and left, but saw not the youth who had lain in her
bosom. At this her vitals fluttered, her reason fled and she
shrieked a loud shriek which awoke all her slave girls and nurses
and duennas. They flocked in to her; and the chief of them came
forward and asked, "What aileth thee, O my lady?" Answered the
Princess, "O wretched old woman, where is my beloved, the
handsome youth who lay last night in my bosom? Tell me whither he
is gone." Now when the duenna heard this, the light starkened in
her sight and she feared from her mischief with sore affright,
and said to her, "O my Lady Budur, what unseemly words are
these?" Cried the Princess, "Woe to thee pestilent crone that
thou art! I ask thee again where is my beloved, the goodly youth
with the shining face and the slender form, the jetty eyes and
the joined eyebrows, who lay with me last night from supper-tide
until near daybreak?" She rejoined "By Allah, O my lady, I have
seen no young man nor any other. I conjure thee, carry not this
unseemly jest too far lest we all lose our lives; for perhaps the
joke may come to thy father's ears and who shall then deliver us
from his hand?"--And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and
ceased to say her permitted say.

When it was the One Hundred and Ninety-third Night,

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that the duenna
bespake the Lady Budur in these words, "Allah upon thee, O my
lady! carry not this unseemly jest too far; for perhaps it may
come to thy father's ears, and who shall then deliver us from his
hand?" The Princess rejoined, "In very sooth a youth lay with me
last night, one of the fairest-faced of men." Exclaimed the
duenna, "Heaven preserve thy reason! indeed no one lay with thee
last night." Thereupon the Princess looked at her hand and,
finding Kamar al-Zaman's seal-ring on her finger in stead of her
own, said to her, "Woe to thee, thou accursed! thou traitress!
wilt thou lie to me and tell me that none lay with me last night
and swear to me a falsehood in the name of the Lord?" Replied the
duenna, "By Allah, I do not lie to thee nor have I sworn
falsely." Then the Princess was incensed by her words and,
drawing a sword she had by her, she smote the old woman with it
and slew her;[FN#281] whereupon the eunuch and the waiting-women
and the concubines cried out at her, and ran to her father and,
without stay or delay, acquainted him with her case. So the King
went to her, and asked her, "O my daughter, what aileth thee?";
and she answered, "O my father, where is the youth who lay with
me last night?" Then her reason fled from her head and she cast
her eyes right and left and rent her raiment even to the skirt.
When her sire saw this, he bade the women lay hands on her; so
they seized her and manacled her, then putting a chain of iron
about her neck, made her fast to one of the palace-windows and
there left her.[FN#282] Thus far concerning Princess Budur; but
as regards her father, King Ghayur, the world was straitened upon
him when he saw what had befallen his daughter, for that he loved
her and her case was not a little grievous to him. So he summoned
on it the doctors and astrologers and men skilled in talisman-
writing and said to them, "Whoso healeth my daughter of what ill
she hath, I will marry him to her and give him half of my
kingdom; but whoso cometh to her and cureth her not, I will
strike off his head and hang it over her palace-gate."
Accordingly, all who went in to her, but failed to heal her, he
beheaded and hung their heads over the palace-gates, till he had
beheaded on her account forty doctors and crucified forty
astrologers; wherefor the general held aloof from her, all the
physicians having failed to medicine her malady; and her case was
a puzzle to the men of science and the adepts in cabalistic
characters. And as her longing and passion redoubled and love and
distraction were sore upon her, she poured forth tears and
repeated these couplets,

"My fondness, O my moon, for thee my foeman is, *
And to thy comradeship the nights my thought compel:
In gloom I bide with fire that flames below my ribs, *
Whose lowe I make comparison with heat of Hell:
I'm plagued with sorest stress of pine and ecstasy; *
Nor clearest noon tide can that horrid pain dispel."

Then she sighed and repeated these also,

"Salams fro' me to friends in every stead; *
Indeed to all dear friends do I incline:
Salams, but not salams that bid adieu; *
Salams that growth of good for you design:
I love you dear, indeed, nor less your land, *
But bide I far from every need of mine!"

And when the Lady Budur ceased repeating her poetry, she wept
till her eyes waxed sore and her cheeks changed form and hue, and
in this condition she continued three years. Now she had a
foster-brother, by name Marzawán,[FN#283] who was travelling in
far lands and absent from her the whole of this time. He loved
her with an exceeding love, passing the love of brothers; so when
he came back he went in to his mother and asked for his sister,
the Princess Budur. She answered him, "O my son, thy sister hath
been smitten with madness and hath passed these three years with
a chain of iron about her neck; and all the physicians and men of
science have failed of healing her." When Marzawan heard these
words he said, "I must needs go in to her; peradventure I may
discover what she hath, and be able to medicine her;" and his
mother replied, "Needs must thou visit her, but wait till to
morrow, that I may contrive some thing to suit thy case." Then
she went a-foot to the palace of the Lady Budur and, accosting
the eunuch in charge of the gates, made him a present and said to
him, "I have a daughter, who was brought up with thy mistress and
since then I married her; and, when that befel the Princess which
befel her, she became troubled and sore concerned, and I desire
of thy favour that my daughter may go in to her for an hour and
look on her; and then return whence she came, so shall none know
of it." Quoth the eunuch, "This may not be except by night, after
the King hath visited his child and gone away; then come thou and
thy daughter." So she kissed the eunuch's hand and, returning
home, waited till the morrow at nightfall; and when it was time
she arose and sought her son Marzawan and attired him in woman's
apparel; then, taking his hand in hers, led him towards the
palace, and ceased not walking with him till she came upon the
eunuch after the Sultan had ended his visit to the Princess. Now
when the eunuch saw her, he rose to her, and said, "Enter, but do
not prolong thy stay!" So they went in and when Marzawan beheld
the Lady Budur in the aforesaid plight, he saluted her, after his
mother had doffed his woman's garb: then he took out of their
satchel books he had brought with him; and, lighting a wax-
candle, he began to recite certain conjurations Thereupon the
Princess looked at him and recognising him, said, "O my brother,
thou hast been absent on thy travels' and thy news have been cut
off from us." He replied, "True! but Allah hath brought me back
safe and sound, I am now minded to set out again nor hath aught
delayed me but the news I hear of thee; wherefore my heart burned
for thee and I came to thee, so haply I may free thee of thy
malady." She rejoined, O my brother, thinkest thou it is madness
aileth me?" "Yes." answered he, and she said, "Not so, by Allah!
'tis even as saith the poet,

'Quoth they 'Thou rav'st on him thou lov'st': quoth I, *
'The sweets of love are only for th' insane!'
Love never maketh Time his friend befriend; *
Only the Jinn-struck wight such boon can gain:
Well! yes, I'm mad: bring him who madded me *
And, if he cure m: madness, blame restrain!'"

Then she let Marzawan know that she was love-daft and he said
"Tell me concerning thy tale and what befel thee: haply there may
be in my hand something which shall be a means of deliverance for
thee."--And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of da, and ceased saying
her permitted say.

When it was the One Hundred and Ninety-fourth Night,

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that Marzawar
thus addressed Princess Budur, "Tell me concerning thy tale and
what befel thee: haply Allah may inspire me with a means of
deliverance for thee." Quoth she, "O my brother, hear my story
which is this. One night I awoke from sleep, in the last third of
the night[FN#284] and, sitting up, saw by my side the handsomest
of youths that be, and tongue faileth to describe him, for he was
as a willow-wand or an Indian rattan-cane. So methought it was my
father who had done on this wise in order thereby to try me, for
that he had consulted me concerning wedlock, when the Kings
sought me of him to wife, and I had refused. It was this though
withheld me from arousing him, for I feared that, if I did aught
of embraced him, he would peradventure inform my father of m,
doings. But in the morning, I found on my finger his seal-ring,
in place of my own which he had taken. And, O my brother, m,
heart was seized with love of him at first sight; and, for the
violence of my passion and longing, I have never savoured the
taste of sleep and have no occupation save weeping alway and
repeating verses night and day. And this, O my brother, is my
story and the cause of my madness." Then she poured forth tears
and repeated these couplets,

"Now Love hast banished all that bred delight; *
With that heart-nibbling fawn my joys took flight:
Lightest of trifles lover's blood to him *
Who wastes the vitals of the hapless wight!
For him I'm jealous of my sight and thought; *
My heart acts spy upon my thought and sight:
Those long-lashed eyelids rain on me their shafts *
Guileful, destroying hearts where'er they light:
Now, while my portion in the world endures, *
Shall I behold him ere I quit world-site?
What bear I for his sake I'd hide, but tears *
Betray my feelings to the spy's despight.
When near, our union seemeth ever far; *
When far, my thoughts to him aye nearest are."

And presently she continued, "See then, O my brother, how thou
mayest aid me in mine affliction." So Marzawan bowed his head
ground-wards awhile, wondering and not knowing what to do, then
he raised it and said to her, "All thou hast spoken to me I hold
to be true, though the case of the young man pass my
understanding: but I will go round about all lands and will seek
for what may heal thee; haply Allah shall appoint thy healing to
be at my hand. Meanwhile, take patience and be not disquieted."
Thereupon Marzawan farewelled her, praying that she might be
constant and left her repeating these couplets,

"Thine image ever companies my sprite, *
For all thou'rt distant from the pilgrim's sight:
But my heart-wishes e'er attract thee near: *
What is the lightning's speed to Thought's swift flight?
Then go not thou, my very light of eyes *
Which, when thou'rt gone, lack all the Kohl of light."

Then Marzawan returned to his mother's house, where he passed the
night. And when the morrow dawned, having equipped himself for
his journey, he fared forth and ceased not faring from city to
city and from island to island for a whole month, till he came to
a town named Al-Tayrab.[FN#285] Here he went about scenting news
of the townsfolk, so haply he might light on a cure for the
Princess's malady, for in every capital he entered or passed by,
it was reported that Queen Budur, daughter of King Ghayur, had
lost her wits. But arriving at Al-Tayrab city, he heard that
Kamar al-Zaman, son of King Shahriman, was fallen sick and
afflicted with melancholy madness. So Marzawan asked the name of
the Prince's capital and they said to him, "It is on the Islands
of Khalidan and it lieth distant from our city a whole month's
journey by sea, but by land it is six months' march." So he went
down to the sea in a ship which was bound for the Khalidan Isles,
and she sailed with a favouring breeze for a whole month, till
they came in sight of the capital; and there remained for them
but to make the land when, behold, there came out on them a
tempestuous wind which carried away the masts and rent the
canvas, so that the sails fell into the sea and the ship
capsized, with all on board,--And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of
day and ceased to say her permitted say.

When it was the One Hundred and Ninety-fifth Night,

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when the
ship capsized with all on board, each sought his own safety; and
as for Marzawan the set of the sea carried him under the King's
palace, wherein was Kamar al-Zaman. And by the decree of destiny
it so happened that this was the day on which King Shahriman gave
audience to his Grandees and high officers, and he was sitting,
with his son's head on his lap, whilst an eunuch fanned away the
flies; and the Prince had not spoken neither had he eaten nor
drunk for two days, and he was grown thinner than a
spindle.[FN#286] Now the Wazir was standing respectfully a-foot
near the latticed window giving on the sea and, raising his eyes,
saw Marzawan being beaten by the billows and at his last gasp;
whereupon his heart was moved to pity for him, so he drew near to
the King and moving his head towards him said, "I crave thy
leave, O King, to go down to the court of the pavilion and open
the water-gate that I may rescue a man who is at the point of
drowning in the sea and bring him forth of danger into
deliverance; peradventure, on this account Allah may free thy son
from what he hath!" The King replied, "O thou Wazir, enough is
that which hath befallen my son through thee and on shine
account. Haply, if thou rescue this drowning man, he will come to
know our affairs, and look on my son who is in this state and
exult over me; but I swear by Allah, that if this half-drowned
wretch come hither and learn our condition and look upon my son
and then fare forth and speak of our secrets to any, I will
assuredly strike off thy head before his; for thou, O my Minister
art the cause of all that hath betided us, first and last. Now do
as thou wilt." Thereupon the Wazir sprang up and, opening the
private pastern which gave upon the sea, descended to the
causeway; then walked on twenty steps and came to the water where
he saw Marzawan nigh unto death. So he put out his hand to him
and, catching him by his hair, drew him ashore in a state of
insensibility, with belly full of water and eyes half out of his
head. The Wazir waited till he came to himself, when he pulled
off his wet clothes and clad him in a fresh suit, covering his
head with one of his servants' turbands; after which he said to
him, Know that I have been the means of saving thee from
drowning: do not thou requite me by causing my death and shine
own."ÄAnd Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased saying
her permitted say.

When it was the One Hundred and Ninety-sixth Night,

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when the
Wazir did to Marzawan what he did, he thus addressed him Know
that I have been the cause of saving thee from drowning so
requite me not by causing my death and shine own." Asked
Marzawan, And how so?"; and the Wazir answered, "Thou art at this
hour about to go up and pass among Emirs and Wazirs all of them
silent and none speaking, because of Kamar al-Zaman the son of
the Sultan." Now when Marzawan heard the name of Kamar al-Zaman,
he knew that this was he whom he had heard spoken of in sundry
cities and of whom he came in search, but he feigned ignorance
and asked the Wazir, "And who is Kamar al-Zaman? Answered the
Minister, "He is the son of Sultan Shahriman and he is sore sick
and lieth strown on his couch restless alway, eating not nor
drinking neither sleeping night or day; indeed he is nigh upon
death and we have lost hope of his living and are certain that he
is dying. Beware lest thou look too long on him, or thou look on
any other than that where thou settest thy feet: else thou art a
lost man, and I also." He replied, "Allah upon thee, O Wazir, I
implore thee, of thy favour, acquaint me touching this youth thou
describest, what is the cause of the condition in which he is."
The Wazir replied, "I know none, save that, three years ago, his
father required him to wed, but he refused; whereat the King was
wroth and imprisoned him. And when he awoke on the morrow, he
fancied that during the night he had been roused from sleep and
had seen by his side a young lady of passing loveliness, whose
charms tongue can never express; and he assured us that he had
plucked off her seal-ring from her finger and had put it on his
own and that she had done likewise; but we know not the secret of
all this business. So by Allah, O my son, when thou comest up
with me into the palace, look not on the Prince, but go thy way;
for the Sultan's heart is full of wrath against me." So said
Marzawan to himself, "By Allah; this is the one I sought!" Then
he followed the Wazir up to the palace, where the Minister seated
himself at the Prince's feet; but Marzawan found forsooth nothing
to do but go up to Kamar al-Zaman and stand before him at gaze.
Upon this the Wazir, died of affright in his skin, and kept
looking at Marzawan and signalling him to wend his way; but he
feigned not to see him and gave not over gazing upon Kamar al-
Zaman, till he was well assured that it was indeed he whom he was
seeking,--And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased to
say her permitted say.

When it was the One Hundred and Ninety-seventh Night,

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when
Marzawan looked upon Kamar al-Zaman and knew that it was indeed
he whom he was seeking, he cried, "Exalted be Allah, Who hath
made his shape even as her shape and his complexion as her
complexion and his cheek as her cheek!'' Upon this Kamar al-Zaman
opened his eyes and gave earnest ear to his speech; and, when
Marzawan saw him inclining to hear, he repeated these

"I see thee full of song and plaint and love's own ecstasy;
Delighting in describing all the charms of loveliness:

Art smit by stroke of Love or hath shaft-shot wounded thee?
None save the wounded ever show such signals of distress!

Ho thou! crown the wine cup and sing me singular
Praises to Sulaymá, Al-Rabáb, Tan'oum addrest;[FN#288]

Go round the grape-vine sun[FN#289] which for mansion hath a jar;

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